Pilates Workshops

Just like any other Pilates instructor, I am always on the lookout for continuing education, especially in Women’s Health issues.

I have attended a considerable number of workshops on the pelvic floor, menopause and pre/post natal. While I have come away with more “evidenced based” or “scientifically researched” information, I have not come away with a sense of the miracle of my body and all it can accomplish. I have also not come away with any applicable information that I can readily use with my “normal” everyday clients. So I put my hand out away and seemingly never use the information again even though I am always happy I went.

What I take issue with is the constant bombardment of the fact that there is any “issue” with our bodies at all. Not every one has a pelvic floor “dysfunction” so how do I teach pelvic floor work to a “normal” client? Not everyone has damage from childbirth. Not all of us have any of the problems put forth by the media about menopause.So it got me thinking that what we are teaching the younger generation about is a fear and distrust of our bodies, particularly for women.

If there isn’t a problem, don’t create one. I take the PMA’s code of ethics seriously when it tells me not to diagnose,prescribe or teach outside my scope of practice. I am not a doctor, physical therapist or psychologist and I don’t pretend to be. I am a Pilates Teacher. I am a relatively good one but I stick to what I know and never try to “fix” anyone. I also believe in the innate wisdom of the body to be optimally healthy and as humans our role is to aid that ability by eating well, sleeping well, staying stress free and exercising, be it Yoga, running, aerobics and/or Pilates. Not isolating one aspect and thinking that Pilates will somehow, miraculously, free us from all our physical abnormalities.

I try very hard not to be negative about anyone’s body and any dysfunction (if there is one). I have a wonderful 60 year old client with scoliosis. She has no pain and has had the condition all her life. She performs the roll up beautifully if a little crookedly. I have been to scoliosis workshops but have never used the information to “correct” my client. She is extremely happy with the way she feels and is excited about being able to do all the exercises in class.

I understand that there are times when the extra knowledge I aquire is useful but only in ascertaining which of my clients to refer out to the doctors, physical therapists and psychologists (that last one would fit ALL my clients).

So maybe the workshops being presented to us Pilates Instructors are just a little beyond our scope of practice, maybe a little unnessecary for where we are and maybe just a little bit inapplicable to most of our clients. But more importantly, maybe they are making us look differently at our clients and “seeing” problems that aren’t necessarily there? (Yes,please answer this question)

But mostly, I really want to go to a workshop that tells me that all is well with my body, that all I am going to learn about is how it works, through some anatomy, learn some of the problems that SOME people may face and come back with my belief in my bodys’ ability to function, intact.


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